Stop Infringing On My Right To Be Cranky

Blame it on hormones, my brain’s inability to chemical correctly, or getting up on the wrong side of the bed, but sometimes I’m just cranky.

And you know what? That’s okay.

Make no mistake. I’m not a fan of being cranky. I don’t like existing in the realm in which my senses are heightened to the extent that I can hear you scratching your arm across the room and it makes me want to puncture my eardrums and then you. I don’t like having days in which everything, without fail, pisses me the fuck off.

But I have made peace with the fact that I will have those days. And I need you to accept that, too.

I try very hard not to take my crankiness out on others. This is why more people are not walking around punctured. I try to regulate my words and my eye rolls and my heavy sighs and my tone. I do not always succeed. Sometimes I snap at people despite my best efforts. Even though I am cranky, I try to keep that to myself. My crankiness should be no one’s hang-up but mine.

However.

There seems to be a miscommunication here. People tend to conflate my attempts to not expose them to my crankiness as an invitation to exacerbate it. And then get mad when I whip the shit out of them with my last nerve.

When I encounter someone in my life who is cranky, I leave them alone. Their crankiness has nothing to do with me. Even if it’s only perceived on my part, I’m going to err on the side of caution and give that person some space. Because I don’t want to make their mood worse.

I find it baffling that not everyone feels this way.

I may try to keep my crankiness to myself as much as possible, but even on the days I warn people of my crankiness, to let them know to steer clear, they steer closer. And then get angry with me when I fail to keep my mood in check for their benefit.

There’s this odd idea that unpleasant emotions are not to be had. That people are not entitled to have bad days or off days or just be plain ol’ cranky. That anything that makes a person less accessible is unfair and offensive. That to be in anyway off-putting is a crime, even if only for a day. People insist upon that accessibility from others no matter what their mood or mental state, but then get uptight when people insist upon that same accessibility from them during their cranky days. The same people I leave alone are the ones who pester the shit out of me. And then act shocked when I finally snap at them.

That’s the really wild part of all of this. I can expressly state that I’m in a mood and it would be in everyone’s best interest to leave me alone until the black clouds pass. Yet, when that warning is ignored and that boundary violated, feelings get hurt and I’m the one in the wrong.

But being cranky is my right.

Writer’s Procrastination

It’s a well-known gag: a writer will clean their whole house to put off writing. And like any good joke, there’s a nugget of truth in there. It’s the getting started that can be the hardest part.

Some writers say it’s the intimidation of staring at the blank screen. That blinking cursor taunting them, daring them to type the first word.

For me, I think it’s my fear of commitment.

Once I start writing something, I can’t stop. I can’t quit until I’m finished. And I don’t mean that I have to write the whole thing in one go. I mean that I don’t quit on a piece until I get to the end, no matter how much I don’t like it or don’t want to write it. Even if I know that I’m not going to do anything with it. I have to finish it.

This has a tendency to make me hesitant to start. Do I want to commit to this idea? Is it good enough to carry me all the way? Or is this thing going to die halfway through and I’m going to have drag its corpse across the finish line? All valid questions, sure, but they make me put off starting, sometimes until it’s too late. The idea goes stale or the deadline passes and I never get a word down.

This fear of commitment has been complicated by my recent struggles with my writing. I already flail when it comes to starting a piece; the lack of productivity is just kissing a papercut with salt chapstick.

I’ve even been having trouble with my blog posts. Getting started or in some cases, finishing them. I’ll get off to a strong start and for whatever reason I have to finish it later, which will be my undoing. Starting where I left off should be easy, but instead I find myself procrastinating. I can’t bring myself to start writing even though I technically already started.

It’s a strange, frustrating thing.

Especially when I know that all I have to do is start. If I just get that first sentence out, the magic will happen. I know that. But the harder I try, the more I resist. It’s almost like a panic response. I sit down to get started on a piece and I turn into a Muppet flailing in the forest. Or a middle age woman playing endless games of solitaire and constantly checking Twitter until I give up.

I’ve only been revising things lately, which has helped with my productivity, but that reprieve won’t last. And as much as I like doing NaNo, I’d like to be able to write productively outside of the month of November.

There are several ideas that I’d like to be working on right now. Ideas that have been sitting in the fore of my brain for a couple of months. They are right there, ready to go.

I just have to get started.

Nothing Happens in a Small Town–Murder Edition

When my library director first pitched the idea of doing a library podcast, one thing she definitely wanted to include was local history and she handed me the folder on a dynamite story to kick the off the podcast: the only known public hanging in my county, which happened in 1882.

The Patsy Devine Case remains one of the more popular episodes because everybody loves some true crime and a good, ol’ fashioned hanging. The next local history episode I did was The Courthouse Murder. This 1855 case had everything: a bitter rivalry, an amputation, chloroform, one of the first uses of the insanity defense, and an all-star prosecution team that included future president Abraham Lincoln. He, along with his presidential opponent Stephen A. Douglas, also defended the first man accused of murder in my town way back in 1840.

As it turns out, for a period of time, my little town was quite the murder capital.

I’m currently working on not one, but two murders of police chiefs that occurred within three years of each other. It was something I stumbled upon while researching our most corrupt mayor (which was a fun one) as he was a witness to the second chief’s murder. It was while reading that article that I found out that the second murdered chief was present at the first murdered chief’s killing and was appointed chief as a result. It was like a murderception and I eagerly descended down that rabbit hole.

Which led to an article featuring a list of murders that occurred over a 60 year period between 1855 and 1915.

Oh yeah. My tiny town was Wild Westing it back in the day.

The list includes:

-A shooting in 1864 that I haven’t found details of yet, but I know the guy posted bond at the pre-trial which was held in a different town for reasons.

-A double homicide in 1896 in which the 24 year old husband shot his wife (who’d filed for divorce) and mother-in-law in the yard with a shotgun before running down the railroad track and attempting to commit suicide by throwing himself in front of a train. Unfortunately for him, the cow catcher did its job and yeeted him off the tracks very much alive and under arrest.

-A man who was shot and killed in a Christmas Day poker room squabble in a saloon in a neighboring town in 1899. The victim’s name is the same as that of a man who stabbed the postmaster to death in my town’s post office during the Civil War, but I’ve yet to find any connections between them.

-Another bar fight in 1901 saw a 40 year old man kill another man by hitting him over the head with a beer bottle. The man pled guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced by the same judge who later presided over the murder trial of the second police chief’s killer.

-Because men have always been delicate creatures unable to cope with rejection, a man shot and killed a woman he mistook for the woman who’d turned down his marriage proposal in 1906.

-In August of that same year, a dispute between a 60 year old man and a 53 year old man over chickens, access to a well, and insulting one man’s wife ended when the husband of the insulted wife shot the offending man. The killer was found not guilty by reason of self-defense as the victim was allegedly beating him with a bucket at the time of the shooting.

-To continue with the theme of men old enough to know better getting uptight about farm animals, a 60 year old man shot and killed a 68 year old man in July of 1909 because the horse the victim had been pasturing in a vacant lot next to killer’s house had been eating the man’s sunflowers. The argument that ensued was escalated when the sunflower owner’s wife got involved and the victim called her “a goddamn liar”. The man was later arrested by the first police chief who would be murdered almost exactly a year later.

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t wall-to-wall homicides back in the day, but it’s still pretty significant for a small town that was even smaller then than it is now. Growing up here where the default is that nothing happens, it’s wild to think that back in the day folks were shooting each other over horses eating sunflowers and chickens getting into flowerbeds and insulted wives. That’s something that happens somewhere else, even in the long, long ago.

But it all happened right here.

In fact, those murdered police chiefs both died within blocks of where I live right now.

Hey, just because nothing happens in a small town now doesn’t it mean it wasn’t happening then.

Your Career Queer Auntie’s Guide to Life

“I don’t know what I’d do if my kid came out as gay/lesbian/queer/non-binary/trans.”

Good news! As your Career Queer Auntie, I’m here to help! I have decades of experience as both an auntie and a bi+ woman. I’m the person you come to when you have questions about life, and somehow gender and sexuality have become a specialty. If I don’t know the answer, I can find it for you.

So let me help you out when it comes to dealing with a queer kid.

My main job as an auntie is to guide my niblings through life. I accept them for who they are and show them how to navigate the world as themselves. My job is to learn them up, not change them or judge them. Which means I answer their questions honestly. Age appropriately, of course, but honestly.

Because I can do that as an auntie. I have that privilege. Because I don’t have the hang-ups that parents have. I don’t have to worry about what the neighbors think or how I’m paying for college or making them clean their rooms or whether or not they can eat ice cream for breakfast or whether or not they’ll live up to the ideals and expectations I have for them. I’m free of all of that.

It’s that last part that gives me a unique perspective. Because these young things are not genetic off-shoots of myself, I have no skin in the society achievement game. I don’t have to worry about any missed milestones. I can focus on the kids’ happiness. That’s my main concern. Their happiness and their safety.

So here’s how to love your hypothetical queer kids like a Career Queer Auntie.

1- Respect the journey. Because it is a journey. Not everyone is blessed with an automatic knowing of who they are. And the coming out isn’t necessarily the end of their journey. For some it’s the public start. What feels right -or close- then might change later as the kid matures, grows, acquires experiences.

One common misconception about bisexuals is that we haven’t chosen a team yet. This is based in some reality because many people initially come out as bisexual only to later identify as gay or lesbian. Part of that is because the insistence of the heterosexual norm which leads people to cling to the idea that they’re attracted to the opposite sex when they’re not.

But this sort of thing also happens with the enforcement of a gender binary and the idea that sex is solely biological. That sets people up for a trip to find out identifiers that work for them.

Be prepared to go on that journey with them.

2- Use their pronouns. It is amazing how many people have such difficulty with this when it’s really the easiest thing in the world to do. It feels like an affront to have a child tell an adult who they are and request they be addressed as such. Especially if you’re the adult responsible for their existence. It feels like a violation of the power dynamic.

Well, get over yourself.

Showing a kid respect costs you nothing and is worth everything to them. A sincere effort to use their pronouns, to correct yourself without complaint, and to correct others can mean the difference to a kid struggling to establish their identity.

3- Call them by the names they want to be called by. Second verse, same as the first. It’s another easy thing that adults can do, but absolutely resist. Especially if you’re the adult that gave the kid their name in the first place. But if a name is tied to an identity, it makes sense for a person to pick their own. Even the allo cis hets are entitled to that.

4- Understand that it’s not one-size fits all. Not every trans person feels the need to have transitions surgery. Not every non-binary person is androgynous or uses they/them pronouns. Not every gay guy is effeminate. Not every lesbian is butch. Not every asexual is sex averse. Not every bisexual is 50/50 in their attraction. And so on. And so on. Just like there are all kinds of allo cis het people, there are all kinds of queer people. Don’t expect the kid -any kid- to fit in a box. Those labels are for them to express and identify themselves. Not for you to find another way to dictate their existence.

5- Educate yourself. You could say that a lot of my own education was acquired during my own journey as a bi+ woman, but I didn’t stop there with my education. To be the most supportive auntie I can be, I have to keep myself in the loop.

Do not put the burden of your ignorance on the kid. They can inform you about their experience, but that broader knowledge base that you’re looking for to help better your understanding needs to be acquired on your own. There are plenty of reliable online resources that can help.

6- Your understanding is not a condition of acceptance. You don’t have to completely understand the specifics of a kid’s identity to accept it. My go-to example for this is furries. I do not get it, cannot process it. But guess what? So long as everybody is consenting and happy, I’m cool with it. I will honor your fursona. Because it’s not about me.

You don’t have to understand non-binary to accept a non-binary kid and use their pronouns and name. Because it’s not about you.

And that’s really the core to loving your kids like a Career Queer Auntie. Understanding that it’s not about you.

Now take all of these guidelines to loving your hypothetical queer kid and apply them to your real queer kid. Then apply them to all queer kids. States are passing laws like “Don’t Say Gay” and barring healthcare for trans kids under the guise of protecting the children, but really it’s because it makes these grown ass bigots feel uncomfortable. These laws will not make kids straight or cis.

It will make them dead.

And that’s the point.

Your ultimate job -as a parent, as an uncle/auntie/untie/auncle, as an adult, as a human being- is to make those kids -all kids- feel safe.

Because the world won’t.

Sundays Are for Self-Care

I’m sure I’ve written about this before, but I’m going to write about it again because I’ve been doing really well at it and I feel the urge to be all “Go Team Me!”

I am one of those people who are mundanely self-destructive. I destroy myself in little ways, usually through neglect of some kind. This usually presents as depriving myself of sleep, eating mindlessly or not eating at all, and overworking myself. The latter I am particularly bad about. I will schedule myself to the point of stress and then berate myself for not being able to handle the schedule/stress because other people can do it/I used to be able to do it.

A few years ago, I made the purposeful decision to give myself Sundays off. Unless absolutely necessary, I don’t do chores, I don’t run errands, I don’t leave the house, I don’t work on any writing or podcasting projects, I don’t exercise, nada. All I have to do is my Duolingo lessons (because I have like a four year streak going and my ego is way too big to lose it), a beauty routine, and exist. That’s it. Anything else is a choice. There are no have-to’s unless absolutely unavoidable (think NaNo when I write every day).

I give myself this day to be a potato. To place no expectations of any sort of productivity on myself. To be a human being, not a human doing.

This is a mindful choice that I have to make every Sunday. Some Sundays I feel like a lazy piece of shit and I think I should be doing something and it takes effort for me not to give in to that thinking. Because that’s definitely a sign that I need to take care of myself and rest. Other Sundays I actually feel really good and I choose to do a little bit of yoga or a little bit of writing or a small To Do List project. And I let myself do those things because in that case it’s a want-to, not a have-to.

So, yes, there are some Sundays when all I do is eat and binge-watch shows or movies and play online games and be a complete potato. Reading is too mentally taxing on those days. And there are some Sundays when I still lounge, but I read and journal and do little crafty things. And there are some Sundays when I switch out my closet and purge my clothes and reorganize my shit and make new To Do Lists. But everything I do on a Sunday is a want-to, not a have-to.

I have enough have-to’s the other six days.

Sundays are for self-care and self-care is a must for me.

“What’s Your Dream Job?”

Can you still have a dream job when you’re over 40? I don’t know. But I’m going to play at answering this question anyway.

In my younger days I had that all too common dream of becoming an actor or singer, but as it turns out, that requires talent and looks, of which I have neither.

When I was in junior high I had two dream jobs. I either wanted to be a meteorologist studying tornadoes or a shark biologist. What can I say? I prefer my science when it wants to kill me. Should be obvious that neither of those plans worked out, though I’m still fascinated by both fields.

By high school, I’d changed my mind yet again. I knew for sure that I wanted to be a writer. And in the three attempts at community college, I changed my mind the same number of times. Just another manifestation of my commitment issues.

I suppose you could say that my dream job is elusive. Or at least achieving it is.

Now that I’m middle-aged, I kinda haven’t given up on that whole dream job thing. I still want to find something that thrills me and I get paid well to do it. But instead of knowing what exactly that job is, I know more about what I don’t want it to be like.

It’s not customer service. Definitely not. It’s not working with coworkers that drain me, that are unreliable, that have agendas. Ideally, it’s something that limits my time in a bra and/or real pants. I mean, it is a dream job. I should ask for what a really want.

I want my dream job to be writing. I’ve dedicated years to it without much success, but it’s still very much my heart’s desire in many ways. But the difficulty I’ve had doing it in the last few years has led me to doubt it as my life’s calling. And that’s led me to an existential crisis of sorts because if it’s not my dream job, then what is? I know I’m still a writer, even if it’s not working out the way I planned and things are hard right now. Writing is a part of me whether it’s writing fiction like I want to do or blogging or even journaling. But if it’s not my dream job like I’ve wanted it to be, then what is?

Lately, I’ve really found some joy in podcasting. And not just Book’ em, Danno, either. I really enjoy doing episodes of the library podcast, particularly the history episodes. I like doing the research and writing the script along with the recording and editing. There is a lot of writing involved, even if it’s not my true love of fiction writing.

All of this thinking has led me to one solid conclusion about my dream job. I might not know what it is for sure, but I know what it feels like.

It feels like that sweet spot I hit when I get lost in what I’m writing, when I’m so in the groove that I lose myself in the words. It feels like that rush when the rabbit hole I head down during my research leads me to something new and brings that podcast script together perfectly. It feels like that buzz I get when I’m recording and the observations and jokes are flowing naturally. That’s what it feels like. It feels like I’m surfacing after being underwater for a while, coming out of a dream state and back into reality when I’m done.

That’s what my dream job is.

Also it pays super well.

Nesting in a Happy Place

I am one of those people that will comfort watch things. You know what I mean. You’re feeling a little down or blue or stressed or whatever, so you throw on your favorite TV show or movie. Something to soothe you and boost your mood.

My go-to’s are flicks like Halloween or The Fog or Delicatessen or House on Haunted Hill. You know. Real cheery stuff. Or I’ll binge-watch cartoons like The Real Ghostbusters or Danger Mouse or He-Man. Because my inner child has a tendency to be more of an outer child.

However, there are times when I need more than just a little mood booster. There are times when my sole source of serotonin comes from repetitive viewings of whatever my brain has decided to fixate on because it brought me an incredible amount of joy in a specific moment.

For example, the world is currently shit due to the fact that if you leave humans to do the right thing, they will absolutely not do that, thank you, anything but that. How have I been dealing with this fuckery for the past couple of weeks? By watching episodes of Ghosts (the US version). For 20-ish minutes, I get to tune everything else out and giggle and awww at the inhabitants of Woodstone Manor. Does it fix things? No. Does it take pressure off of my brain? Yeah, for a bit. And it gives me something to look forward to.

Several years ago I watched Ghostbusters: Answer the Call every day for six weeks. Every. Single. Day. Sometimes twice a day. It became a necessary part of my routine to help ease the brain decay I was experiencing at the time.

I mentioned Delicatessen as one of my go-to’s, right? Well, there was one point in time when I watched it daily for weeks. Drove my roommate nuts. She’s not a fan of French black comedies featuring post-apocalypse cannibalism, I guess.

I’ve done the same thing with The Fog, the Anatoly episodes of Arrow; Zelenka episodes of Stargate: Atlantis (yes, I’m fond of David Nykl, but he’s not the only actor I’ve done this with); episodes of both the 1980 and 2018 Magnum PI; and My Dinner with Andre.

I’ve been known to do the same thing with songs and albums and musicians. I create my happy place and then I move in. I stay there as long as I need to and then I move out again. Sometimes it’s a few days; sometimes it’s months. Depends on why I’m in the nest I’ve made.

And then one day I’m done. Just like that. No tapering off, no thought. One day, I just leave that nest and I’m done with that happy place. It might be a long time before I revisit the shows or movies or music of that particular experience, or I might go back to watching them or listening to them like I did before I needed them to survive.

It’s probably not the best of coping mechanisms, but I cannot deny that the serotonin boost manages to keep me sane when I need it most. A life raft in stormy seas until I get to the next piece of solid ground.

Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to return to my happy place.

Let’s Talk About Stress, Baby

In my little world, I categorize my stress into two categories: To Do List Stress and Life Stress. Sometimes they overlap, but they tend to affect me differently.

I prefer no stress, but if I had to pick one of these, I’ll pick the To Do List Stress.

To Do List Stress is the consequence of me overestimating my ability to be productive and scheduling myself to do a whole lot of things in a certain period of time. To Do List Stress is most prevalent in December, but I can honestly do this to myself at any time. I tend to cope with this stress better. Not because I can choose to reschedule the things on my To Do List to be more accommodating (because even if I say I’m going to do that, I never do), but for whatever reason, it’s just something I can handle. Maybe it’s because I’m a Capricorn. Who knows.

One contributing factor to my ability to deal with To Do List Stress is that it triggers my “DO IT ALL NOW” anxiety and out of all of my anxiety manifestations, I can actually deal with that one pretty easily. It mostly involves me reminding myself that I don’t have to do it all now and I have it all scheduled out. Do I have to remind myself of this multiple times a day, if not an hour, and does it sometimes disrupt my sleep? Yes. But it’s mild compared to what Life Stress does to me.

Life Stress is everything else in my world.

It’s working short-handed most days of the week. It’s working a customer service job during a pandemic. It’s the constant barrage of bad news. It’s going grocery shopping at any point in time. It’s the ever present strain that never seems to abate.

I’m not great at dealing with that kind of stress, at least not anymore. I think I was better at dealing with it when I was younger and more resilient. Or I was too dumb to stop and realize what I was dealing with. Whatever the reason, after the Massively Stressful Summer of ’18, my ability to cope with Life Stress is basically non-existent. It totally drains me.

Which is not good.

It’s not ideal to go through life feeling like you’re unable to catch your breath.

I think -and this is just speculation- that I might be able to cope with Life Stress better if it didn’t absolutely wreck me anxiety-wise. While To Do List Stress triggers one particular anxiety manifestation, Life Stress triggers several and they’re all the worst.

The general dread that comes with social situations, like going to work for example, goes from barely registering/normal to now dialed up to 11 because every shift guarantees an unpleasant interaction with someone.

And every unpleasant interaction leads to rumination that I can’t stop, whether I acknowledge it or not. Because most days, I just chalk it up to the normal of now and don’t consciously think about it. But that doesn’t mean it’s not pinballing through my brain, off in the background, coming to the fore when I finally sleep and the guard goes down.

Stress dreams are not fun. And I’m having them a lot more often than I ever did.

This sort of thing has made my baseline anxiety worse. I question every single human interaction I have outside of the people in my house, and still question those interactions on occasion. I cannot wish someone happy birthday without questioning my word choice. You think I’m joking, but I’m not. I can have a chat with someone I’ve known most of my life, who knows me and my quirks and my dumbassery, and still walk away from that conversation ruminating over every single thing I said and did during that interaction.

This is the toll that Life Stress takes on me. Is taking on me. Because in addition to just sucking in general, it’s also feeding a beast I’m quickly losing control of.

Now I know that I’m not unique in this. A lot of people have Life Stress issues along with mental illness. Some might argue that I’m lucky because I don’t have the added stresses of a spouse and kids and a real job. But think about it. If I can’t handle what I’ve already got, it’s probably for the best that I’m not dealing with more. I’m hardly coping (not really) as it is.

Do I feel like a complete failure and a total baby? Absolutely.

Will I find a way to cope and/or live with it?

I hope so.

The Dating Game: How Do I Play Again?

I’ve been single for quite a long time now and even though it does have its advantages, I’m kind of getting bored with it. I’ve actually been thinking for awhile that maybe I should try dating again. What with all of the dating apps, it seems like there might be more opportunities to meet someone.

There’s just one thing.

How the hell do I do this dating thing again? ‘Cause I don’t think I ever knew.

I’ll be honest. My dating life wasn’t exactly active as an awkward, introverted, mentally ill woman back in the long, long ago of my twenties when I was younger, thinner, and had my whole life ahead of me. Now that I’m twenty years older, fatter, with even less life ahead of me, but still awkward, introverted, and mentally ill (though the mental illness is better understood and controlled), I’m sure my odds of having any success are about the same as me winning the Powerball, and I don’t play.

But what the hell? It’s not like I have anything better to do. And yes, trying to do this during a never-ending pandemic might not be the wisest move, but I’ve never really been known for my stellar decision making skills.

I’ve been researching dating apps. I did online dating back in my twenties when the internet and I were young. It was…an experience. I didn’t actually go out with anyone I met on those old dating sites, though I did interact with several men who would have been happier on Tinder and/or Pornhub and at least one with a very specific fetish. Having heard stories from other women’s experiences with dating apps, things haven’t changed that much. I’m at least hopeful that I’ll get some interesting creepers and new fetishes.

I’m also thinking that dating apps might be the best way for me to meet women. I am, after all, bisexual and there’s no reason I should only be horrified by the behavior of cis men. And I’ve had even less experience dating women than I have dating men. I am attracted to women. I should really explore that aspect of my sexuality more, and I’d really like to. And it’ll give me a better shot at meeting someone. God knows I need all the help I can get.

Because I’m not exactly a catch.

I’m a failed adult. I have done nothing with my life and I can’t say that I’ll ever be anything close to functioning like a real grown-up.

But I’ll pay my own way. I’ll show up. I’ll be supportive and caring (in my own broken way). I’m can be fun and funny and sometimes I give good advice. Just don’t expect me to make anything of myself. I’m someone that I think the right person could have a decent, solid, enjoyable relationship with, but you probably don’t want me to co-sign a mortgage.

I concede that’s not what a lot of people -women, men, non-binary- are looking for because they’re already grown. They have kids and careers and things. Throw in that I’m fat and over 40 and you might suggest that I just resign myself to being a cat lady. Well, the joke’s on you because we have five cats in the house and none of them like me. So I might as well give dating another shot.

I realize that it’s late in my life (probably too late) to be doing this and honestly, I’m not expecting much. After all I can’t expect to win a game when I barely know the rules.

But on the other hand, I can’t get better at the game if I don’t play. And even if I don’t win, I might have some fun.

Now to just put all of that into a dating profile and make it sound like something worth swiping right on.

The Anxiety Podcast

I like podcasting. I’ve been doing it for a few years now and I’ve decided that it’s something I really like to do. I like guesting on other people’s podcasts and I like running my own. I like the excuse of talking about things I like and the excuse of talking with my friends about stuff we all like. It just happens to be recorded, edited, and put out there for other people to listen to.

Knowing that other people listen is cool and all, but I don’t obsess over my numbers. I don’t concern myself with growing my audience or anything like that. I do a little promoting for Book ’em, Danno and appreciate whatever listens I get. For all I know, those numbers aren’t even people. They’re bots. I hope they enjoy my ramblings. Beep boop.

So, even though I enjoy podcasting and do it primarily for myself, there is one drawback to it, and no, it’s not editing (though I would love it if I could be less persnickety in my editing).

It’s the anxiety fallout after I’ve recorded.

I don’t have much anxiety when recording my own podcast, but I admit that it amps up when I’m guesting on someone else’s podcast. Sometimes the anxiety is bad, but for the most part, it’s not. And the more appearances I make on someone’s podcast (for example Eventually Supertrain), the better the anxiety is because I know what to expect.

However, be it my podcast or someone else’s, as soon as we’re done recording, my anxiety goes through the roof. I second guess everything I said. I ruminate over things I said and things I didn’t say. I think about what a fool I made of myself no matter what I said. And the thing is that I know whatever I said, it was fine. But my brain, at least for several hours afterward, disagrees with that.

When it comes to Book ’em, Danno, I have to wait to edit the episode. I can’t listen to it for at least a week. I’ve got to let that anxiety die down before I can manage it.

When it comes to other people’s podcasts, well, that’s a little trickier. Sometimes I have no problem listening to them when they come out. More than enough time has passed for my anxiety to calm down and usually, I can’t even remember what I said. It’s a delightful surprise when I listen. However, there are some episodes I can’t bear to listen to (and don’t) because I know that my anxiety was up during the recording and knowing that is enough to make my anxiety spike again. I just can’t do it.

Is this all irrational? Of course. That’s how anxiety works. If it were at all rational, then this wouldn’t happen anymore with Book ’em, Danno, and probably wouldn’t happen with Eventually Supertrain.

But it does.

Every. Single. Time.

It’s annoying. And it does contribute to me sometimes procrastinating my own recording schedule because I don’t want to have to deal with myself in the aftermath.

But thankfully, I love podcasting just enough that it makes it all worth it.

At least for me.

The listeners’ mileage may vary.